We are in the process of buying a plot of land on the outskirts of a village. It is up a lane which although is adopted is very much a country lane/track that leads up to a wood. As part of the outline planning permission there is a condition that we have to provide a turning circle within our curtilage for service vehicles (even though there is a house further up at the top of the lane). The Highways section of the Local Authority are now saying that not only do we have to provide the turning circle but that we also have to pay for the widening and upgrading of the road to accommodate a service vehicle. Please can you tell me if they are legally able to make a self-builder of a single dwelling pay for such highway improvement costs? This is also on top of them demanding a S106 affordable housing contribution of £15,400 + £1,000 legal costs! Yet the local authorities are supposed to be encouraging self-builders!

Comments
  • Jeremy Murfitt

    Hi

    A few questions spring to mind. Firstly what exactly are service vehicles? I guess this is waste collection, post etc. Assuming that the lane/road is very narrow I guess this does make sense with regard to highway safety. In rural UK there must be hundreds of properties with restricted access and this is the first time I have heard of this as a condition. Secondly what does the outline condition say and what does the Highway Authorities response to the application say? If Highways didn’t refer to the widening of the lane to allow access in their response and it wasn’t included in the planning conditions I don’t know under what authority they are seeking payment. Usual practice would be to include the off site highways works in a Section 106 and associated Section 70 agreement. The later ties you to make the payments for the highways works. Make sure you are sitting down when you get the estimate, it could be very expensive. A further factor must be the other dwelling which is further up the track, must be some form of precedent there.

    You mention the affordable homes contribution, that sounds very high for a single dwelling. I would check their policy and also run this by your lawyer.

    Jeremy

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